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InnoLet Injection Device Relives Fears of Injection

Oct 12, 2004

The number of patients with signs of major distress related to the injections decreased by 53%, Use of a pre-filled, disposable insulin injection device — Innolet — reduces the fear of self-injection and brakes down barriers to effective diabetes management in elderly patients, researchers reported October 4th at the American Academy of Clinical Pharmacology.

"Up to 25% of patients with diabetes who require insulin may have psychological issues regarding self injection," said Lars Nicklasson, Senior Manager, Health Economics and Pricing, Novo Nordisk. "The users of this device had less fear of insulin injections and were less concerned about taking the injection in public…This can greatly enhance the management of their disease and lower costs."

The Innolet, manufactured by Novo Nordisk, is a hand held injection device with a dial resembling an egg timer. The device is prefilled with 300 doses and patients need only insert a needle and dial the dosage for the injection. "This makes it easier to take the insulin on time and in the right dose," Mr. Nicklasson said.

He presented study results that showed the device offers psychological benefits to elderly insulin-dependent diabetes patients who have visual and/or motor disabilities.

The trial included 79 elderly patients with an average age of 68 years, who were randomized to a sequence of InnoLet doses for 6 weeks and to vial and syringe for another 6 weeks. The insulin dose was predetermined based on the patient’s prior daily insulin requirements and was changed over the course of the study based on the patient’s health needs and/or diet.

Patients were asked to fill out a questionnaire at baseline and at the end of each treatment period to rated the fear of self-injection and barriers to insulin injection, as well as personal issues that could complicate diabetes management.

The researchers found that the fear factor of taking insulin was reduced during the InnoLet treatment period. The number of patients with signs of major distress related to the injections decreased by 53% during InnoLet treatment, and the number of patients who experienced no distress increased by 20%. Feelings of restlessness, tenseness, fear and nervousness showed the greatest decrease.

Barriers to insulin injection, such as awkwardness of public injections or not having supplies with them, also were greatly decreased. During InnoLet treatment, patients had a mean score of 6.9 in this part of the questionnaire, while during the vial and syringe treatment the mean score was 12.4.

"It was easier for the patients to take the insulin on time with the right dose," he said. "This is primarily for older people, but its use is not limited by age. Most of the people in the study became empowered to take their own injections."

Use of InnoLet was associated with healthcare savings because patients did not require nurses’ home visits to administer the insulin injections, he said. "This cut costs by limiting the number of nursing visits."

[Presentation title: "A Cross-Over Randomized Controlled Trial to Compare Psychological Barriers to Insulin Self Injection With the Innolet and Vial/Syringe." Poster 92]

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